The tragic death of pre-race favourite Anthony Van Dyck at the 2020 Melbourne Cup has sparked a furious reaction from viewers around Australia.
Twilight Payment won the 2020 Melbourne Cup in a dramatic finish at Flemington in front of a backdrop of silence due to coronavirus restrictions.
But the race was marred after it emerged Anthony Van Dyck broke down with what appeared to be a broken leg.
The Epsom Derby winner went into the Melbourne Cup as the top-rated horse and was carrying the top weight of 58.5kg.
However, after exploding from from barrier 3, things took a grim turn in the final few hundred metres of the race.
Jockeyed by Aussie great Hugh Bowman, the horse pulled up lame on the final stretch and had to be loaded into an ambulance at the track.
It emerged afterward that the horse was humanely euthanised after sustaining a fracture to his fetlock.
The tragic death is the second time trainer Aiden O'Brien has experienced such horrific scenes, with the Cliffsofmoher euthanised after an incident in the 2018 Cup.
Fans fume over Melbourne Cup horse death
Anthony Van Dyck is the seventh Cup runner to break down mid-race since 2013.
Initial reaction of devastation turned to anger for many as the trend ‘Nup to the Cup’ continued on social media.
Horrific news. Fingers crossed for Anthony Van Dyck. This is why we say ‘nup’ to the cup. https://t.co/lrvZ4tO7DJ
— Mehreen Faruqi (@MehreenFaruqi) November 3, 2020
— Navin (@navinrajk) November 3, 2020
— Valerie (@valshopaholic) November 3, 2020
ANOTHER HORSE DEAD. Anthony Van Dyck has just become the latest victim of the disgrace that stops a nation. Anthony Van Dyck, I’m so, so sorry darling. Your death is unacceptable. I promise you I’ll do all I can to make sure no other horse falls victim to the same fate you have.
— Emma Hurst MLC (@MlcHurst) November 3, 2020
— steve taylor (@thatstevetaylor) November 3, 2020
The loss of 2019 Epsom Derby winner, Anthony Van Dyck, should not be airbrushed from today's narrative. Aidan O'Brien had already lost Cliffs of Moher to the Melbourne Cup. The race is claiming too many horses of stature. #MelbourneCup #AnthonyVanDyck
— Moira McCarthy (@MoiraTMcCarthy) November 3, 2020
— Thomas Parkes (@_thomasparkes) November 3, 2020
The trend ‘Nup to the Cup’ has garnered a huge following in recent years as more and more viewers from the general public protest against horse racing.
Animal rights activists Peta claim 116 horses have died on Australian race tracks in the last racing year.
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